STROUD MP Neil Carmichael has expressed his delight following news that the Government will be providing funding to help local councils build on brownfield sites.

The policy, which was announced this month, aims to preserve greenfield sites by building on previously-developed brownfield land to deliver up to 200,000 planning permissions for new homes across the country.

The Government is asking councils to put in place local development orders which can provide brownfield sites with outline planning permission to speed up the building of new homes, and is making a £5 million funding pot available to help local planning authorities create the first 100 sites with local development orders.

Mr Carmichael said: “With Labour-led Stroud District Council still struggling to put in place a local plan, I am relieved that my behind-the-scenes pressure to bring about more mechanisms to encourage councils to use brownfield sites has been announced.

“If the district council continues to pass the buck, and does not take these opportunities, this can only be considered a dereliction of their responsibility.

“Hopefully these measures to promote brownfield sites, coupled with additional funding, will make better use of brownfield sites that we all know exist, and therefore help preserve the green spaces in the Valleys and Vale.”

According to Mr Carmichael town and parish councils who are working on neighbourhood plans are now perfectly placed to identify brownfield sites for development.

Leader of Stroud District Council Geoff Wheeler (Lab, Dursley) said: “It’s good news that the Government is now recognising that brownfield sites should take priority for building new houses, instead of the predatory developments on greenfields.

“Mr Carmichael has apparently not read the council’s local plan which is now being examined by a government inspector and which includes several brownfield sites in the district.”